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Registration starts for world’s first Arabic domain names
شبكة. now available for purchase by the general public
February 6, 2014 6:00 by Maha El Gazzar
The first Arabic domain is now available for internet users, dedicated to the Arabic language following the official general public launch on February 4 of شبكة. (web in Arabic).
dotShabaka Registry – the Dubai-based company behind شبكة. – officially opened the namespace for public registrations on a first-come, first-served basis.
The landmark occasion signifies the evolution of the internet landscape, giving Arabic internet users the ability to have an end-to-end online experience completely in their native language.
“There is no better way for businesses to demonstrate their affiliation with the Arabic language online than by registering a شبكة. domain name,” says Yasmin Omer, general manager of dotShabaka Registry. “This is the first time anyone can register a domain name, create a website and begin producing online content completely in our native language. This marks a monumental achievement for the Arabic-speaking online community.”
More than 250 registrants have already secured their domain names during the special early registration process held over the past month, specifically for trademark holders and other highly interested registrants. Brands such as Google, Montblanc, Rolex and Piaget have so far secured their domain name. Etisalat, the largest telecom operator in the Mena region, also activated their domain name – شبكة.اتصالات – and was the first company to launch a website live under شبكة..
One of the goals of شبكة. is to empower the Arabic language on the internet. Omer says شبكة domain name owners will get more than just a web address; they’re signing up for a cause and becoming part of the movement to empower the Arabic language online.
The cost to apply to operate a new top-level domain was set by the global regulator of web addresses, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the application fee was $185,000.